The Seven Stages of Growth for Entrepreneurs With Preston Brown

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Preston BrownPreston Brown is a speaker, entrepreneur, consultant, and real estate guru. He is the Owner of Zia Homes, a luxury home builder located in El Paso, Texas. He works closely with other entrepreneurs and business leaders to scale effectively and discover their purpose. As a speaker, Preston orates extensively on culture, entrepreneurial growth, business, and achieving financial freedom.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Making business investments through automation
  • The stages of a business and making the most out of each one
  • What are the seven stages of entrepreneurship?
  • Using debt effectively to keep building
  • The final step of investor/philanthropist and what that looks like
  • Preston Brown’s best advice for entrepreneurs
  • How to create a foundation for culture
  • Identifying and fixing the weakest link of your business
  • Why finding the right employees is crucial
  • The three Cs that you should never do to your employees

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In this episode of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast

Entrepreneurs are faced with thousands of thought leaders, books, blogs, and opinions on how to succeed. The sheer volume can be intimidating and confusing, with contradictory information becoming more abundant. There are several pitfalls to avoid, including the personal and the business side of starting a business. With all of this in mind, how do you find actionable steps toward being a successful entrepreneur?

Preston Brown is an entrepreneur who helps others start and scale their businesses. Through his personal success, he has taken his tenants and synthesized them into a simplified list.

In this episode of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast, Guillaume Le Tual invites Preston Brown onto the show to discuss the essentials for entrepreneurs. They break down the seven steps and the keys to securing each one. They touch on a host of valuable wealth-building and management topics, including the best ways to invest. The two also discuss employees, software, automation, and much, much more.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

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This episode is brought to you by MageMontreal.

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Episode Transcript

Guillaume: Hello everyone. Guillaume Le Tual here, host of the Ecommerce Wizards Podcast where I feature leaders in e-commerce and business. Today’s guest is Preston Brown, an entrepreneur investing in scaling and holding companies. So he’s basically an owner of multiple businesses and CEOs who work for him. So Preston, how many businesses do you currently own and get run for you?

Preston: Eighteen currently and always on the market for more.

Guillaume: Okay, well, that’s impressive. So today, we’ll be talking about wealth creation for entrepreneurs and tax strategy and entrepreneurship in general. And we’ll see where this deep dive conversation gets us. So before we get started two things firstly, shout out to Interview Valet who connected us, thank you. Alright, Preston, thanks for being here today.

Preston: My pleasure.

Guillaume: I’m impressed by any entrepreneur who builds up an empire sort of a portfolio of businesses. I rent two right now, it’s quite something but I do want to add a third. So I’ll take some examples from you here. Perhaps we can start with some top of mind tips that you have for entrepreneurs about wealth creation and tax strategies.

Preston: All right, top of mind, and I’m going to keep it relevant to what you just said, to get to that third. I’ll tell you a little story about a mentor I had, seen as a nano guy that gave a chance to me for an interview, genius. I had just bought an apartment community with them and at this point I had seven different companies. I was young, like a 30 year old kid, probably in my early 30s and I had seven businesses. When you have seven companies and you don’t understand automation, you’re kind of like that crappy parent who says, ‘I know the solution, I’ll have more kids’. So I kept opening one company and then opening another company and it started becoming kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul, management by crisis, as all these different stressors everywhere. I think we exited this apartment community that we’d invested in because I was always putting my profits into other investments.

And I was sitting down with my mentor and I said I think I need to get into investments and out of businesses. And he looked at me and he said, ‘Yeah, why is that?’ I said, ‘Man, I work too much. This is stressful, I’m going crazy’. I was in my 30s and I’ve got probably as much gray hair now as I had then. In your 30s if you’re all going gray then your cortisol might be spiking. And he said, ‘Well, tell me what was the apartment complex?’ He asked me a really simple question. And this is where I think this could be worth 10 million bucks to anyone that answers it right. I said, ‘Well, you know, the apartment complex was an asset. It was an investment of money in and it generated money and the money came out’. He said, ‘Well, what are your businesses?’ I said, ‘That’s where I go to work’. He said, ‘That’s interesting, because you’ve got exactly what the answers were out of it. A lot of people look at businesses as an investment. Why don’t you look at it that way?’

It really sparked a point of thinking in my mind and I was like, ‘Oh, God, how do I make a business investment’. So it set me on this journey of automation. Of course, I went out and sought out every guru I could find that knew about business. Of course, they talked about their business which might be at this stage or that stage but it was not where I was, and if you don’t follow the advice of this guy at say the investor or philanthropist stage who said, ‘You should buy airplanes because you can get a tax write-off. And you’re like a startup and you’re like, ‘Why do I buy an airplane?’ Then you go and do that and now you have taken away all the opportunity from your business because the lifeblood of a business is the capital that you shouldn’t have put in the airplane. So I’m listening to all these gurus making mistakes and studying and learning automation. So the key to business is to turn it into an asset and let’s cover that really quickly.

We’re at a point right now in our economy where the largest transfer of wealth that has ever happened in the history of birth is about to happen. The baby boomers are aging. If you study the statistics, 84% of people will not transition their business, it will shut down with them. Meaning 16% of businesses carry on and 84% die with the original owner. That’s a scary statistic. A lot of small businesses owned by the baby boomer generation are dealing with something right now called age, something that none of us can escape. So if you take in assets, if you buy a real estate asset today you buy that because it’s automated. You hire a property manager, they do the work and you get the money, later you sell it. Businesses sell on multiples. If you learn the skills of what’s called automation in a business and you learn to use this formula which I’ll send to you, it’s such a simple formula, people see it and they’re like, ‘Wait, this is your secret?’. I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s my secret’. Like, ‘This is easy’. I’m not that smart, I just follow a simple formula each time and every business it’s the same formula in every business and in every industry, and it has made me rich. It’s a problem solving formula that offers the opportunity of automation for business.

Businesses sell on multiples. So if you grab a business, you find a niche, you add value to your customer, you operate it, scale it, set it up to where it operates itself with a professional management team. If that thing goes to 3 million in revenue and you’ve got 1 million in profits and you’re still involved you can sell it on a three times multiple. If you’re not involved, depending on the industry, you might be able to sell it on a five times multiplex and as high as 13 times multiple. Well, that thing could take you two years of work to do. What do you get for flipping a house? I mean, heck, scaling businesses is the single largest financial opportunity based on the way businesses are valued due to multiples on earth today. Because there’s an aging population that owns most of the businesses that would love the opportunity to transition them to young motivated people. And this recession is going to separate the wheat from the chaff. And we’re going to find out who the young motivated people are and I think they’re going to have an opportunity to step in and acquire some of those if they learn automation.

Guillaume: Right. You’ve said something important: to get a 5x multiple on your business profit like in your example, 1 million you get $5 million instead of $3 million. Well, even if you’re not there as the owner to be fully replaced in the business, if your game plan is really to sell it, you have a $2 million budget to find the right people to replace you and invest in the right system to make that happen, and I’m sure there’s some leftover profit with this.

Preston: Oh, absolutely. I mean, when you’re scaling you have to think that to get two million dollars profit is not really that hard. I mean, they’re doing the right thing, they’re just doing it at the wrong stage, like, they’re going and following the same gurus I was following. They’re hearing, ‘Oh, you have to go and hire a CEO, you have to go and hire this, you got to go and do that. A CEO is a chief executive officer, I coach so many young people and they are like, ‘Oh, yeah, meet my CEO’ and have a company with like six people and I’m like, ‘Okay, well, the chief executive officer is supposed to work over executives but the other five executives are the peons. Like, you got a lot of chiefs here and no Indians, what’s going on man? So you’re going to listen to these gurus and they’re talking about their journey, where they’re at in their scale at their business level. And if you’re not there, in any one of the seven different stages of entrepreneurship, if you do the right thing in your stage and you solve the problems in your stage, you’re going to become wildly successful. And you can create a multi-million dollar business with an investment of your time, or an investment of maybe 50 grand or 100 grand.

I think the most expensive business I’ve ever bought into was 150 grand and I had to pay back some debts that the business had and that business today is $5-$8 million a year. So if you look at that multiple it’s extreme and the return is disgusting, but you have to solve the right problems for the stage you’re in and the business you’re in. If you do that and turn your time for 50k into a $50 million net worth 10 years down the road, I mean, everybody’s overestimating a year and underestimating a decade, you will give one business a good year or two and if you do it right, you’re rich. If you get one business or two businesses or three businesses a decade and you do it right, you solve the problems to the stage. You’re not just rich, you’re rich, you’re wild, you’re free and you have the life that everybody else talks about and watches on TV.

Guillaume: Yeah. It does match with my own personal experience. You have to live the stage at which you’re at, do not pretend to be at the next stage, do not try to appear rich or appear too big or bigger than you are. You’re at that stage, live it fully, be transparent, be authentic, and then you will actually graduate faster to the next stage. So what in your view, is the way you break it down for your seven stages there?

Preston: Okay. For the seven stages, you’ve got stage one, I call them non-starts. These are people with a mindset issue, they don’t know how to basically get off. And they don’t know two facts, one, it’s never going to be the right time to start, and two, it’s always the right time to start. So you might as well start now. You will never get enough data when you want to start, it’s just not going to happen. You’ll never feel completely comfortable, you have to get into the discomfort. Non-starters are not good at that. The problem they have is that they have to solve the mindset problem and that’ll get them going. Then you get the next one which is the startup. Startup has a big problem, he’s got to find out who his customer is. Most businesses follow a litmus test of three things; it’s got to be productive, it’s got to be profitable, or at least when you’re starting off you have to know how to get it to be profitable. So there has to be something you can measure to figure out profit, and then it has to be something that is your purpose. It’s a problem that you feel good solving.

If it’s a wound that you’ve healed in your life and you create a business around doing that for others, this is going to be part of your mission, vision and value in life and you’re going to love doing. You’re never going to feel like you work too hard, it’s something you would do for free. So if you can pass that litmus test you’re in business, you got in the right startup and now you have to find out, okay, I like this, I feel good about this, who’s my customer? How do I get to that profit piece? Because if you’re missing the profit piece you have a hobby. So the customer is who you are customizing your product to, and that’s why it’s called custom -er. To -er your way to success is to fail your way to success. You have to custom -er and find the right way and then get there. 50% of startups fail because they never adapt to that.

The next stage is the Operational Entrepreneur. And this is a fun stage because this is where a lot of people get and they stay. They get stuck here, they don’t know what to do. They’re like, I’m managing crisis by crisis and they were so exceptional when they were trying to figure out who their customer was and how to fail their way forward and all that, that they missed the part where a real business is a vehicle and you have to optimize it. Being exceptional connotes exceptions. If the engine in most people’s cars made an exception, you’d never get to the grocery store, you’d never get to work. The vehicle is optimized, the business owner is exceptional. So this Operational Entrepreneur has to actually shrink a little bit to grow. They’ll say, I’m not going to be exceptional for everyone, I’m going to start optimizing. I’m not going to go and find every customer like I was doing when I was a startup and measuring and taking every opportunity. Now I’m going to root down and I’m going to really build some customer archetypes. So I’m going to find out who my top two or three people are and I’m going to market to those niches where I know there’s riches and I’m going to become wildly successful focusing on these people. As you do this, you start hiring management teams, you get what I call a Director of Operations, that’s what most young businesses call their CEO, just a Director of Operations. It’s a DO. That’s the person who starts doing all the micromanaging crap that you used to do and it’s you’re beginning to delegate your time. You still have the dividends but you got to bring in a chief and it’s the Director of Operations.

At this point in time you’re still the CEO, CFO, CMO, Chief Investment Officer, every other C and officer, whatever letter you put in the middle. And as you start getting there you’ll eventually graduate, you’ve got the DO and you’ve gotten optimized a little bit. Now you’ve put in systems, processes, people, tools, all these things, those are expensive, you’re now what’s called an entrepreneur, congratulations, you’re free. But you have the same revenue that you had when you were an Operational Entrepreneur and now you’ve hired a bunch of people, you’ve put in a bunch of processes and software, so you’re free but you’re really poor too. You now have a cash flow problem again.

Guillaume: I know that you live it.

Preston: Now you have to scale. The entrepreneurs are like, ‘Well, I got here, what do I do?’ And you have to start scaling and start saying, ‘Okay, well, how do I scale?’ Thus, they make a mistake in scaling, they try to scale everything at once. They get sold by all the different marketers out there. They’re going to be like, ‘Hey, give me your money and I’ll build you a brand’. Anybody that’s telling you about branding gets scared. If they tell you about lead generation, fall in love with that guy. If they can actually do it, that’s real. So the first thing you do, and you’ve already kind of done this going from Operational Entrepreneur and Entrepreneur is you scale your team. You now have increased capacity, you’ve increased throughput, you’ve built a team. But now you better scale sales which means you need lead generation advertising. If there’s a brand new component that’s fine, but it needs to be mainly focused around lead generation and not branding. Small businesses should not be doing branding, they need to be doing lead generation. So you scale your lead generation, you scale your marketing, you scale your sales team and you add a sales process to the sales team. A lot of times you get a bunch of new people and they don’t have processes. You can go and look at guys like Pete Vargas, you can look at guys like Boisen. I mean, they’ll teach you amazing sales processes to build rapport like part of head, hands, heart, I mean, they’re the best in the industry. Phenomenal guys.

So when you scale your sales process and you operate on human nature, heart to heart, authentic, then you scale your sales. Now you’re scaling your brand because luxury products equals luxury margins. And so as you’re scaling your brand and you’re starting to see well, everybody’s buying and I don’t really have any more capacity. Now you’ve got sales, you’ve got some margins, you scale your brand. You’re ready to price, you scale your brand. Eventually then you start scaling the team again. When you scale the team you’ve increased capacity, you take on the excess. You scale the brand, you raise the price, I mean, it’s the same thing. Now all of a sudden you’re starting to get a large team and you’re like shoot ma’am, I better figure out who can help me because I might have multiple departments and I may need more than one DO. So this is the part where you’re going into Operational Megapreneur.

So right outside of entrepreneurship is when you go into Operational Megapreneur. So right outside of Entrepreneur is where you’re doing the Operational Megapreneur. There’s normally a pivot. I was a home flipper when I was an Operational Entrepreneur and I had lots of these title companies, real estate brokerage, and all these other things. But I looked at these home builder guys and I was like, ‘Well, they put houses together too but they don’t have to peel back the layers of an onion. They start the same way every time, there’s just a piece of dirt and they follow a checklist and they erect a house’. Erection is productive and it’s profitable. And I can do it 100 times in a row down the same street. I don’t have to go find them, I don’t have to go, ‘Whoa!’. And this hit me and so I pivoted and I started saying, ‘Okay, well, maybe I’ll go build that’, it’s the same product, the same process, still a house. People will start living there. And I started building apartments, I started adding multiple Directors of Operations, but now you have as many Directors of Operations as you did when you were the operational entrepreneur building teams. And now you’re really starting if you want to get out of the grind because you’re, once again, managing by crisis, only now it’s not a person with a crisis, it’s a team with a crisis.

Now you’re starting to say, okay, we need data. So data is the real key to get out of Operational Megapreneur. And that is where you say, well, we’re going to need to really go get a COO. We’re going to start adding some more corporate processes, we’re going to have job descriptions that are gradable. I mean, why do we call them A player’s in the office? Well, if you’re not grading them they shouldn’t be called A players. If you are grading them and you have data, you’re very intelligent. And you can call them A players if they’re A players if they’re CND players, why are you with them? You don’t want that trash in your company, they will corrupt your product service of the company overall. So as you’re scaling and you’re adding the COO who’s measuring the DOs, who’s grading the job descriptions of all the employees and really seeing who’s the weak, who’s the chaff, then you start saying, ‘Oh, wow, now I’m going to get a CFO, because my COO, my Operations Officer is so good that he’s helped with operations. I’m going to get that CFO because I should really be scaling this business using budgets, numbers don’t lie’. You’re going to start learning more about income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets. You’re going to start realizing that debt is not a negative, that’s a positive.

Guillaume: That’s amazing. It’s a perfect way to build wealth.

Preston: Yeah. And when they’re all fiat currencies, there’s no value to having anything paid off. You might as well get debt. This is interesting and it is a good point for a lot of you listening to me. I’m sitting in a building and it’s almost paid off and my insurance guy said, ‘Hey, man, you should probably borrow some money and buy some more stuff against that building’. I’m like, ‘Yeah, the rates are high I don’t know if I should’. But he said something super smart. He said, ‘You know, if somebody slips and falls outside of that building that’s paid off they can sue you. I know you’ve got an umbrella policy but they can sue you and come after the entire freaking building, all of the equity. You might as well go borrow 80% and that way all you can take is about the other 20%’. And I was like, I should probably just refinance this and go buy another building, and then another building. I’ve always done this naturally but I just never thought about it from an insurance standpoint or a liability standpoint. The guy was brilliant.

So the Operational Megapreneur becomes the Megapreneur by automating the company with a professional. You get your COO, then your CFO, and you’ll generally get a CMO and all they’re doing is measuring. I never hire a manager, I hire measurers. Measurers can actually manage because they’re using data not personality, who are using IQ and EQ, intelligence quotient and emotional quotient, not just emotional quotient. If you’re going to hire a manager on the presupposition that he’s better than those other people, I think God kind of made us all equal so that’s probably BS. You should hire a measurer who’s going to give you data based on the KPIs that you’re hiring that person to manage and handle. And if those KPIs are great, that’s the person that’s up for promotion and leadership opportunities. And if the KPIs are poor you either need to correct them, or eliminate them and find somebody else. It’s a very simple thing. So once you’ve gotten into a Megapreneur and you have this automated business, you have all your high level managers, you have your CEO managing those high level measurer managers, you have them measuring the DOs, you have them measuring the employees, everything’s operating fairly smoothly.

And you go and you look at it and you say, ‘Wait a second, I have a new business partner and he’s a jerk. It’s the federal government’. And this is whether you’re in Canada, whether you’re in America, he wants to regulate me. I don’t care if it’s Justin Trudeau or Joe Biden. He wants to regulate me, he wants to tell me how to do everything I’m doing. I’ve gotten big enough, I’ve started to be on their radar and then he is going to take all my money in taxes. I don’t like this guy, he’s kind of a jerk. Why do I have this business partner? Now all through the journey of growing your business you had this magic little tax write off called expenses. But now you get to this Megapreneur phase and you’re giving half of it away and they don’t take half the risk. Why would you keep doing that? So you start saying, ‘Well, how did this business partner of mine become my business partner?’ Well, he got elected, and he got elected by getting business people to fund his campaign. And business people do not donate money to politicians like they’re charities. We’re very generous people, I do donate a lot to charity. But if I’m giving money to a politician there’s a function of that dollar and I expect a return on investment like any other business owner making any other investment.

That guy’s just going to put out policy and do legislation that I want or I’m never going to give him money again. So in order to get elected they have to come after all those wealthy business people and get them to fund their campaign. Because what poor people don’t do, they don’t get people elected. They may do the voting when they get promised free crap but they don’t get people elected. Everybody hears, ‘Oh, the rich don’t pay their fair share in taxes’. No, the rich pay the politicians so they can get elected, so that they can manipulate poor people to get the politician elected. So the politician can pass the laws so that the rich person can invest in certain things and not pay taxes, they do that.

So then you graduate into this new phase called Investor Philanthropist which is all about giving your money away. I give my money away to multifamily assets, I give my money away to airplanes, I get my money that I own and I get tax benefits because I can accelerate, do bonus depreciation. I give my money away to start new companies and create expenses and anything that I can put to increase the foundation of every economy, anywhere no matter what a politician says, productivity. If I can increase production in something, whether it’s multifamily, whether it’s a new business, whether it’s an airplane, travel, I mean, there’s a whole bunch of stuff coming out based on the way the political will has worked. On green energy, look into the tax codes around that there’s going to be a bunch of things that the government can’t afford to do. And so what they do they convince the wealthy people, ‘Hey, you know what, you helped me get elected, if you go invest a million dollars over here in this item A that I think is important because I’m a politician and I sold it to all the voters that didn’t know what I was really doing. You go invest in that because the government doesn’t have enough money to put that up, I’ll let you get a tax write off’.

Let’s say you put up a million dollars on a $10 million project and you borrow nine, I’ll let you write off all $10 million because really you bought all of it. So the debt turns into a good thing to get you $10 million write off because you get to $10 million income. You put up $1 million and financed $9 million and got a $10 million write off. You don’t pay taxes. And then of course, the politicians get elected because he says later, ‘Well the [inaudible-22:35] don’t pay their fair share’, and then they go spend too much money. The poor should probably be asking, ‘What are these guys spending all their money on?’ But no, they asked different questions. Anyway, it’s a fun game, it’s a cycle. Every cog in the machine touches every other cog. When you’re listening to anyone make sure if you’re taking advice from that person, whether they’re a wealthy person or a business person, a guru, that they’re giving you advice that fits in the stage you’re in, because if you solve the problems in that stage you get rich.

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Guillaume: Very interesting. So let’s elaborate a little bit on this. You went into amortization as a way to create a new business and save money. So you have this $1 million in profit, I put it as an example, and instead of paying taxes on that $1 million, you take the 1 million and sort of start a new business by writing off all the expenses and then you pay zero taxes on this as long as the tax law in your country allows you to do that?

Preston: Right. And you’ve got to check the tax laws in your country like you’re in Canada, I’m in the US so they’re different. But governments effectively run in a very similar way as long as it’s basically a free market economy. So politicians are still going to operate this way. And you’ve got to check the tax laws they’ve passed because obviously there will be differences but there’s also similarities. Say, I have a million dollars of income that I’ve earned and I’ve collected, I’ve just used a round number. And then I’m sitting there thinking I’m going to give $400,000 of this million to the government. But we have a big issue after COVID, with the airfare issues, and all of these and they’ve passed all sorts of tax laws about buying vehicles over a certain weight, or if airplanes qualify. So then I put $200,000, remember, I would have had to give $400,000 but I put $200,000 as a down payment to buy a million dollar airplane. Then I accelerate the depreciation no differently than you can do on a car or a truck on that airplane. I financed $800,000 of the airplane so I borrowed money and I have to make payments, but I can put it in a leasing agency that will rent it out to people that want to fly private. I can make a living on that, like, I’ll make money no different than an Airbnb. You’re just renting it out to other people and you’re insured and if somebody crashes it, you actually probably make more money back.

So I put it in a leasing fleet. They leased the pilot, they leased the plane and every time they leased a plane I got paid. So I’m not even paying my own mortgage, I just put down 200,000 down and I got a million dollar write off meaning now on my tax bill, it shows I have zero income. So instead of giving the IRS $400,000 I put $200,000 into an airplane. Let me tell you how this works three years later, because there’s more people and they’re not making airplanes fast enough, my airplane is now worth a million dollars more. I’ve paid down the principal of another couple 100,000. Maybe I’ve put 100 grand into it but I’ve also got about 100 grand out of it, so I breakeven on the plane. I have a million to $1,400,000 in equity so if I sold it I could actually make more money and I didn’t pay taxes that first year. So what is the asset that your government is looking for you to invest in? Is the question you should be writing down if you’re at the Investor Philanthropist level. Now let me put a disclaimer on this; if you’re at the startup level or the non-start level, if you’re at the Operational Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur Megapreneur, any of these levels this is not the right time to be looking at all those tax breaks. Because most countries, and I’m pretty sure Canada is this way too, your expenses in your business give you the right opportunity when you’re in growth mode. So you’re starting to look for these write offs when you hit the top, when you hit the peak, when you have the automation.

Guillaume: When you have extra cash it ‘s not the best move to reinvest it in the business because the next year you’ll have almost 50% growth or something?

Preston: Exactly.

Guillaume: Okay. So for Canadian listeners, quickly about the tax law for this it is called the Capital Cost Allowance and there’s another program called Accelerated Investment Incentive. So you can check out the Revenue Canada agency website for that stuff. So for example, Preston is talking about buying a plane with his one million dollars or buying a fleet of trucks, whatever it is. So if you can do this in Canada it will depend on the class tax, for example, vehicles that you can use in the daily car rental business or that kind of stuff would be a 40% amortization in the first year, not 100%. So in the US you can amortize 100% in the first year, in Canada you cannot do that for stuff like taxi rental vehicles. But as Preston said, what does the government want you to invest in? That changes everything, and that’s where that Accelerated Investment Incentive comes in. Because here you have full expensing for clean energy investment, allowing businesses to immediately write off the full cost of specified clean energy equipment classes, 43.1 and 43.2. There’s also full write off on machinery used for manufacturing and processing of goods class 53, you can expense 100% of that stuff. Because other than those exception cases, there’s almost nothing above 500 bucks or computer hardware that you can expense 100%. So that’s in a nutshell.

Preston: I mean, compliments to you, bro. You’re my favorite podcast host I’ve met just because of the research you just did to present that. That is absolutely awesome. I think it just adds so much value.

Guillaume: My pleasure. And there’s one more thing, it’s just for Quebec though, I don’t even see an English name on it because that website is just in French. It’s RRE, Régime de Retraite Exécutif, sorry about that. So that’s the executive retirement system where you can take money straight out of profit and put it straight in your personal retirement plan and you pay zero taxes at the business level and you don’t pay anything on the personal side until you actually cash it in. So you can just put it in some stock investment or a retirement plan type of thing so it will be super safe, maybe a 5% kind of thing but you can still write off 100% from your business and put it on the personal side. So that’s the other trick specifically in Quebec. Well, Preston, any other tips that you have in mind or that’s the main one to sort of accelerate the appreciation and use that money in tax savings to create the next business?

Preston: I’d say the main tip probably for most folks is not the tax game. I mean, you’re going to get the tax game through the growth and scale of your business. The main thing I would tell most people because most people are not going to be at the Investor Philanthropist level, and if you’re there, good for you, this is all real. But most folks are in that startup and Operational Entrepreneur phase where they’re really trying to figure out how to make this work. How do I get to that real dream of true fulfillment and freedom through business? And I would say you need to adopt a philosophy that’s outside of normal day to-day-business. Most people want to avoid problems. You need to look at problems, see them as gifts, see them as enormous opportunities and get closer to them. You need to sit and say you know what? Oceans are the most humble bodies of water on earth. They’re smart enough, wise enough to sit beneath the rivers, lakes and streams and let everything flow into them. You need to dive into problems and fall in love with problems. They call it falling and it’s not supposed to be controlled. I think it’s falling and studying them is no different than you would your religion or your spouse if you love them.

And as you study those problems and you get this new level of feedback, you start finding, oh, wow, I have a new way of solving this problem that gives me a new competitive edge over everybody and this is the formula that I have. But the tip I would say is, look at your business. There’s three goals for every business, alignment, simplicity, and foresight. Pass the litmus test I gave you earlier. Every business has three goals, alignment, and simplicity, or what I call the twin sisters of optimization. Foresight is planning, forecasting, it’s how you can be exceptional diving into those problems and create automated systems that will get you rich and set you free. Once you know the goals there’s four things you measure, and I’ll send them to you but I’ll send you the whole list, I’ve got it right here. Culture, clarity, capacity and cash.

Cash is easy. There’s eight triggers of a crisis, there’s six different returns. Everybody talks about return on investment, what does that mean? If you put in 100 grand you got 100 grand back, talking about ROI when you have an infinite ROI is like stroking yourself points, it’s a waste of time. You should look at return on marketing, what is the cost of the customer? You should look at return on your time, return on your energy, return on your balance sheet equity, return on your debt. And do you know which one you should look at? The weakest one. Put those weakest ones to bed and you’ve solved the problem, and you elevate your business.

Look at culture, what’s the first four letters of culture called? Cult. Ain’t that weird? We all have this negative idea around cult. What’s a cult? A cult is an identity within a group. Business is not a spectator sport, it’s a team sport. How do you create a foundation for a culture? Well, there’s five foundations, I’ll send it to you. If you want to open up a third business you have to learn the five foundations of culture. You have to learn tribal triggers, you have to learn mission, vision, values and how to present them transparently and clearly. You’ve got to learn production decisions presented transparently. Like some people want to produce a million widgets for a million people and some people want to produce 10 widgets for 10 people. It’s wrong, but you better know that it better be driven into your culture. But that’s what’s quality. All of these have an equal and opposite thing. Like if you look at politicians, they used to talk about what they were going to do, now they talk about how bad the other guy is. The opposite of quality is negative, it is selling a line of BS. And by the way, politics has a rude word probably means [Inaudible-33:47] which means blood sucking arachnids. I bring up politics a lot because it affects the market. The market would be supply and demand and that would be it, only politicians keep manipulating it which is what makes this game fun because you’ve got to keep pivoting and moving.

But the most important part of culture that everybody misses, because I only gave you four, is safety and danger. And this is so politically incorrect in our market because everyone says we need to keep everyone safe. It’s all about safety. Well, the leader in a company, like the single most valuable quality in a leader is they’re dangerous. They are dangerous enough to protect the tribe that has chosen to follow. Think about that. That goes back to tribal societies and it’s still there now. You might not be dangerous like being big, strong and carrying around a knife, walking around your office being scary, but you’re dangerous enough that your competitors respect you because they know if they dropped the ball you’ll take their market share. You must be dangerous. You must be dangerous enough to tell your employees you must do your job. Follow your job description, if not, you will not be here. This is a team and you’re not entitled.

So when you learn the five foundations of culture, you can create compelling and incredible cultures. What about clarity, communication? You can find every problem

you have and capacity, there’s four flows; you have lead generation problems, sales problems, you’re going to have delivery problems, or you’re going to have cash problems. These are the four flows of capacity. These are the four flows of your throughput. You can find all of your problems by measuring where the weakest one is. But all problems may be found in the capacity, all problems are created in lack of clarity. So you have to add clarity on communication. Interesting, right? So these are the four things you measure. I got documents for each and I’m going to send them to you. I hope you’re a billionaire in the next few years.

Guillaume: Give it a shot. Why not? We can link that in the podcast episode. Any documents you send will be available for download there.

Preston: Awesome. The coolest part of this and everything’s business is complicated because it’s like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to be involved in that’. Well, complexity is seductive, not productive. Productivity gets you paid, being seductive gets you screwed. Here’s what’s fascinating about business, there’s only six things you can change. So you got three goals, four things you measure, six things you can change. My wife and her makeup drawer brother have 150 different dials that she can change. She can be a different woman on Friday night than the girl is on Sunday morning. Friday night women are way more fun, I like her better. Yet Sunday morning woman’s good too.

But in business you have six: price, products, people, place, promotion and process. So depending on where the problem is, because the form is built, you take a problem and you put it on the top. Or is it alignment, simplicity or foresight? What should I address? Culture, clarity, capacity, cash, what should I adjust? Price, product, place, promotion, process, or some multitude of them? So if you take this problem solving form everyone can be rich, making money is easy. If you solve problems at the stage you’re in you will be rich very quickly. Most entrepreneurs are doing the right thing just at the wrong stage. So other advice? I mean, dude I got content all day normally I do like five, six hour speaking engagements. But I know we only probably got another 10 minutes or so. So what do you need for your listeners? How can I best add value to help them solve wealth problems?

Guillaume: So just to recap on what you’ve pointed out here, and this aligns regardless of which business an e-commerce store, a manufacturer or a retailer or a distributor or anything like that, because we’re talking about the business itself regardless of how to distribute online or not. So you seem to want to fix the weakest link as your next step to analyze the six P’s of product, profit, etc., and always sort of nail it down rather than focus on strength and make that even stronger or you want to eliminate sort of what is pulling you down.

Preston: Absolutely. And it’s no different than the human body. Like, if you stubbed your toe and had cancer, which one would you worry more about? The smaller problem or the bigger problem? So you have to look at two things anytime you’re solving a problem, you go for the biggest problem first because normally a lot of your other ancillary problems are probably a result of this bigger problem. When you solve the two or three enormous problems in a business a lot of the little ones go away. I mean, they seem to solve themselves, it’s awesome. But whenever you’re solving a problem, you have another issue, you have the problem that caused the problem you’re solving. So you got to look at the chain events and the cause and effect, relationship of okay, well, how did we get here? How do we add a process oriented solution to prevent this particular problem from arriving again? How do we make sure that happens? A lot of people like to do this thing called blaming, which by the way there’s two sources of pain. One is ignorance and one is stupidity. Now blaming, I think is either ignorant or stupid in almost every situation.

Blame is an acronym, it means being lazy and making excuses. So if you look at somebody and they’re blaming somebody else, then you have to say either if he’s blaming somebody he is either stupid or he’s not educated. He was not educated, we can educate him and we can solve the blaming problem. But if he’s stupid, you need to eliminate that person real quickly because that’s the biggest part of the problem. So anyone going to blame doesn’t know one immutable fact. And this is an immutable fact and when I found this it was just like, hallelujah! Like angels singing. I found that there’s one truth for every single person in business regardless of whether it’s the customer, regardless whether it’s the owner, the employee, the vendor, the lender, the trade and subcontractor, it doesn’t matter. Everyone in the business no matter where the relationship lies has one immutable truth. They all want the same thing. All of them want the same thing, they all want certainty of success. So when you tie that back into alignment, I have to solve a very simple problem for everyone. My customer wants certainty of success, that the sale of this product that we are committing to will solve their problem will actually solve their problem. My vendor wants to be paid on time, I want him to do a good job, I want to have a profit at the end of the day, my employee wants a check every week and a great place to work.

Everyone wants a certainty of success. I’ve never found any type of bad person anywhere in business, I’ve found joyful people, I’ve found miserable people but never good or bad. Though I have limits, I tend to do away with the miserable. I found intelligent people and people who choose to be stupid, I’ve never found anybody that’s actually stupid. Some may choose it, but never anybody that’s actually stupid. And some will accept the education if you give them data and facts and you find out what they want. What is their certainty of success in the relationship that you have? Every problem becomes solvable, you can turn every single business and the solution it provides to the customer with the problem that’s paying you. And if every party is meeting their need for certainty of success it becomes an operational machine, you become rich, wild and free. They have the life they watch on TV. It’s incredible.

Guillaume: So an alignment of certainty of success. Now let’s dive a little bit in this for a few minutes because it is a powerful statement. But at the same time it brings up some questions, while the employee wants certainty of success, do you have expectations from him? Yes, if he’s doing his job well, but maybe it’s other things like, how do you tie in his success criteria and perhaps there are challenges along the way that will push him to grow in adversity and maybe it’s the certification that he needs to go and pass? Maybe he will fail that test, so how do you give him that certainty of success?

Preston: Well, you never hire somebody and give them what they need to succeed, you hire somebody that already wants to succeed. Like you’re hiring, ‘want to’, you’re hiring on ‘whatnot’ need. Like, if you’re married and you need your wife, you probably need a divorce, you have a real sad life. If you’re married and you want your wife and you’ll still be chasing her around the bedroom until the day you die. I want my wife every time I go home I’m excited to see her. If I needed her I’d leave. So you’re not trying to bring them in and put something in them, you need to hire people aligned to the position. And then you need to find out, what does success look like for you? That should be one of the interview questions? What does success, whether with this firm or another look like for you?

People for the most part are very honest. They’ll tell you. Ask them outside of work. Like, you’re coming here, you want to make a living. We provide a great work environment, we do all these things but what does living get you? What does certainty of success look like for you? And as you start hearing, A, they want goals and dreams in life. B, you have to think, like in psychology, significant emotional events in life create significant emotional events later. The personal event information will tell you about the work environment they need to have, it’ll tell you whether they’re aligned more to an accounting role or a sales role. Like, if you put an accounting person in a sales role they’re going to hate their life. If you put a salesperson in an accounting role they might do good for a week and then they’re going to be off at the water pool talking to everybody the whole day, of course, they’re just going to do anything to avoid a behavior that doesn’t align with them. So if you put the right person in the right role and you find out what their needs are not just at work but what they’re going to do with it.

People tell me I’m crazy because my companies pay more to our employees than anyone else in any industry that competes with us, and then we pay bonuses on top. Say we’re in a fairly low income city and the average salary at my company is probably 50 grand, the average salary in the market is probably 30, we pay bonuses on top of this. It has created this demand where everyone wants to be there. How can you make a living as a business owner paying far more than all your competitors are paying? And it’s no different than what the oil companies learned in the early 1900s. They figured out, ‘Wait a minute, if we go hire all the farm boys that are used to bale and hay and doing this and working hard and we put our little refinery down there and we hire them. It’s a little different than getting the entitled kids in the city where we have to pay five of them to do the work of one’. I’d rather pay one guy twice as much to do the work of three people than one person in the city to do as much work as one person.

And so you start getting more production out of these people, they get bought into the mission, the vision, the values, the culture, the solution of the problem. They have friends at work. Like one of my documents, I think it’s clarity and culture that’s kind of a mix, the 10 human needs of an employee. If you meet their needs 10 out of 10, and they’re aligned to the role they’re in, and they’ve the education and they’re honest and you’re honest, I mean, let’s take and what are the two most powerful forces on the planet? Electricity and authenticity. That’s my opinion, that is not scientific necessarily. But without electricity we don’t have the lights over our heads, without electricity my brain cannot send a neural signal to my arm and lift it over my head, it’s sending a neural electric signal. But then there’s authenticity, like you’re religious, listen, sorry man, they’re full of shit and you get annoyed with them because they’re inauthentic.

I think authenticity is huge. If you’re honest they’ll be compelled to be honest, if you’re meeting their needs, if they’re a joyful person, an intelligent person, somebody that’s growing that time, willing to learn, they come to you and they see you as a good leader, yeah, you might be dangerous but you create safety. The point of being a dangerous leader is you create safety, you create a beautiful tribe. They see that they buy in and then every single month your Director of Operations, or you if that’s the level you’re at, is meeting with them and saying, ‘Hey, these are the 10 points on your job description. You did really well here but you failed a little bit here. What happened?’ Like you’re not understanding something. ‘What do you need? How can I assist you in being the best I love? I love your energy but you missed a little here.’ I’ve never heard them say, at least the good ones that stick around, I don’t care. I’ve never heard them say somebody else should do it. They’ve always been like, ‘Man, I was trying this and this and I don’t know what happened?’. And then you educate them, you show them a different way. And you know what they do next month? They excel there.

Everyone wants a certainty of success, everyone wants to be valued. Find the one man anywhere on the planet that every day of the week would not trade almost everything that he has to be a superhero? We all want to be bad-asses. Find the one woman who doesn’t want to be cherished, that doesn’t want to be a valued part of the tribe in the community. How many women will run around the house, even after the entire family is sitting down watching TV and they’re still cleaning, they’re still doing this, they’re still doing this. They’re that engaged in the environment there. So you’ve got these amazing women creating these amazing environments, you have these amazing men that want to be productive and respected. What have you built your company around? And I’ll give you a book that I just think it’s phenomenal. Allison Armstrong has written several books, she’s one of the best relationship and human psychology people on the planet. And she says there’s three things you never do to a man. And there’s three things you never do and it was just one of the most profound things. I added this into my sales processes, I added this into my company.

It’s the three C’s for men. Never criticize a man, never control a man and you never close off emotion. Yeah, I mean, he prefers anger to nothing. You give a man the silent treatment in a marriage, he’s done. We’re in it for emotion. You control me, I’m going to fight you back. What if we make it your choice? What if we make it your choice to win, and just at what level? Instead of criticizing, compliment. ‘Hey, man, you did this and this and you’re like 10 out of 10. I mean, it’s amazing’. ‘What did you hear?’ Like, ‘I know you’re a winner. I see it’. ‘What did you hear?’ Do they tell you they want to be a hero? Women are different. They never want to be misunderstood. So unseen, they want to be noticed and they never should feel unsafe. You ever give a woman any of those three and they’re not physically gone there emotionally but they’ve already left your culture.

What if during your sales process you added those three things? What if in your management process you added those three things and preached gender? What would that do to your culture? You would build a family, you would build a tribe, you would build a team that even though they may only get four or five good hours with their family in the evening, they’re going to spend eight to 10 hours at your office with you and their co-workers. They’re going to fall in love with their co-workers. Because they see trust, they see truth, they see hope, they see love. They see all those things and you build this culture and this identity of your group; we solve this problem, we do this, you can be proud to work here. And by the way, if you fall down you’re human. You know what? I do have guys in El Paso, Texas, a large Hispanic community, they are Jesuits that build my houses, there’s no Jesuses. The Savior does not build my house, it’s just promises. When somebody falls down, we lift that guy up. We help. There’s so many little things. So do you put the certainty of success in someone that doesn’t want to succeed that way? No. You find the person that wants to succeed in that way and you hire them for that role and then you help mold the relationship, it’s no different than dating. Nobody’s perfect the first time. Everybody’s first kiss, unless you’re weird, probably was to like circus music. Nobody was like a pro. Like, you get in there and by the 10th and you’re like, I’m better.

Guillaume: Old memories. All right, and you said her name was Alison Armstrong, did I get that right?

Preston: Oh yeah, she’s phenomenal. She has Keys to the Kingdom where you can understand a lot about man and the journey they’re on. She has the Queen’s Code. She has a lot of good books.

Guillaume: The Queen’s Code and Keys to the Kingdom. I see them online. Okay, pretty good. We’ve talked about automation, I’m stretching into this a little bit for a few minutes here, because this is good stuff, it’s pure entrepreneurship. So you talked about automation and you talked about various things like, the six P’s, process, profit, etc. Do you use any kind of operational system in your company such as EOS, the entrepreneur operating system or from Verne Harnish and the Rockefeller Habits or anything like that?

Preston: Let me put a disclaimer, yes and no. I do not start a business around what system is going to be running off of what operating system. Generally, I start my businesses using Excel. Excel is a wonderful program, it is not the program you should stick with when you get to be a big business. There will be better software in 99.9% of cases than what Excel can be once your business has reached that Operational Megapreneur, Mega Printer, you should start looking at. I use the system that I’m going to send to you, which is effectively a system that ties in kind of human mechanics and psychology to business and all of that. And then using data we use Peachtree for accounting, we use Excel when we launch a company and we create maps using Excel, we call them SDAs, strategic driver analysis. The SDA is there to figure out what the KPIs are, the key performance indicators and measure daily, we do monthly meetings to see what we can prove.

And then eventually, as the businesses grow we’ll go in and find out who is the best software developer in the industry that has got a product? And sometimes you’re looking at two or three or four and you find that the guy that may not be the best of the best his product aligns way more to your process. And sometimes the best of the best can align their product to your process. So when you’re getting into a business you need to look at, okay, I know I’m going to need a software, it may not be right now or today, the business should start with solving a problem for the customer, but you need to be keeping your eyes on the market. I mean, look at which software your competitors are using, which software is this, which software is that? Which software solves the problem better than the software your competitors are using? I’m going to say once you get to the Operational Megapreneur stage and even the Entrepreneur stage, anyone profit margin business, if you are not looking at and acquiring software you are a fool. If you are going to continue doing things the same way, then, you know, imagine a society where horses were still used to get to work? It wouldn’t be functional. So you have to adapt, you have to grow. Software’s are incredibly critical. I generally start with Excel and then I go find the best people in the industry.

Guillaume: Makes sense. You need it because you want to put a process in place and a system in place and have some kind of certainty of visibility.

Preston: I want to add this and this is such a hard question. The best people in the industry are not always the biggest. In fact, normally they’re not. Like if you’re going into the property management world. Maybe then you can go with like a yard or a building, and you can go with the biggest guys, fine. But for most entrepreneurs I would find a software engineer that is at that moderate stage because he’s going to be more adaptable to you, and he’s going to be improving that product with you. Most of the software that we’ve adapted and jumped in with, we didn’t go with the most expensive homebuilt software. In fact, the Excel sheet and funny enough in that business is so damn good. It’s better than any of the software that is out there. We have a software engineer that is now developing our sheet into a software and we’re going to have that software available for sale to homebuilders.

Guillaume: Your 19th company there. It’s a SaaS business.

Preston: And we have no idea how that’s going to be profitable, so it doesn’t get past the litmus test but we’re playing with it. We’ve spent some money on it. Right now it’s a hobby, it hasn’t passed the litmus test but it could turn into a business. Does that kind of answer the question?

Guillaume: Yeah, it does. It’s about how you put in place the processes. And I guess for automation it’s the same thing. It’s based on the software that you choose depending on your company. Are there other things that you have in mind for automation, perhaps on the lead generation, or email marketing or whatever?

Preston: Most important thing for automations? Another good book, Who Not How, your softwares are very ‘How’, and if you have one software but the person who is your COO has another that you don’t love but maybe you bought them from a company that’s a dominant company in the industry and they’ve used that software for 20 years, you can force them to learn a new software that they don’t like, or you can just acquire that software. I would probably work more with the ‘Who’. The people to me are always the most valuable asset. Every building without the people is just a phone system and a set of computers, and desks. I mean, there’s no value. The problems are solved by the people but the softwares makes people much more productive. I’m not a technology guy and I suck at it. Like I have now learned how to use my phone. I’ve been having fun playing Robinhood this last week, it’s been a lot of fun. But I’m still trying to figure out all the other things. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. My regular broker thinks I’m a nut, freaking playing. But I’m learning a software. I don’t know technology, I need to find the right person for that or the right team or the right contractor that can produce it and deliver it for you and then let them do it. Your people are your most important asset.

Guillaume: So people first and then the system and processes. And then the tools or software in that order for my system of belief. Okay, so we’ve busted our time limit a little bit here because this is enjoyable. Any last thoughts to wrap up this episode and think you’d like to share it with other entrepreneurs?

Preston: I’m going to give you one last piece and then maybe how to find me if anybody wants that. I’m going to give you a simple five-step investment formula that I was told when I was young, and it’s worked. It’s put my net worth in the 100 million range, and it’s really simple. There’s five things you invest in and you always fill the first bucket before moving on to the second bucket. The first thing you invest in is mindset, always. I don’t care if you’re reading a book, I don’t care if you’re hiring a coach, I don’t care if you’re going to seminars, but you invest in your mindset to the point that you are full. You don’t over-invest, you don’t need more information than you can download, but as much as you can download, invest in that. Two, your business. Everybody out there is going to be like you need to buy crypto currency, you need to buy this, you need to go get an NFT. There’s this monkey picture that you should buy. If you need a software in your company and you’re looking at an NFT, well, probably do other stupid stuff, too. Don’t even look at the NFT. Invest in your business. So, one, mindset, two, business.

Three, real estate. Why? It’s a tax hedge, it’s an inflation hedge, it’s a cash flow opportunity, and keep investing in real estate until you have invested so much that you cannot handle it. There is an enormous housing shortage in America and Canada. And it’s only being compounded because builders can’t build fast enough because they’re worried about the risks of what the politicians will do, so they will never take off and build enough to meet the need, until politicians maybe put out some good incentives for them. Or kind of do the opposite of what they didn’t know, wait when we all got killed. So next one, real estate, because we’re going to have more inflation, we’re onboarding more manufacturing on this continent. We’re taking it away from China and India, that’s going to cause good inflation, not the bad guy. We’re never going back to 2% here. I don’t know where it is in Canada?

Guillaume: 7%, right now. They’re aiming back to the two, three range.

Preston: They’re never going to get there. These politicians have never taken economics courses. If you onshore American and Canadian manufacturing you have to pay those people more than you do a Chinaman or a guy from India, sorry. Labor is cheaper over there but businesses have found that the fragility of having a company over there is more costly than the stability and higher labor cost of having them here. So we’re onshoring manufacturing in North America, that will cause real inflation to hit, I’d say 3-5% annually instead of the 2% target still, and that’s just real. So the next thing you invest in after you’ve got real estate is tax hedges. Don’t go to stocks, don’t go to bonds, don’t go to mutual funds, don’t let that investment advisor who’s broke tell you where to put your money. You’re rich, he’s broke, he wants to make commission’s with your money. I made more money trading stocks than my investment advisor. I made it the next year and pulled all my money out of there and just did it all myself. Because I’m better at it. That’s not to say anything bad about him but he doesn’t have my net worth. I don’t understand why rich people trust broke people to invest for them. It’s kind of stupid. So I’m probably going to rectify that mistake.

Now you invest in tax hedges, this could be airplanes, it’s kind of like what we’re talking about: whatever Canada has for the Canadians, whatever America is for the Americans go find tax hedges that can make you money. Next, you go to all the other stuff. And when I say all the other stuff, I put all the other stuff; stocks, bonds, mutual funds, Bitcoin, crypto, Dogecoin, NFTs, all this other crap in that bucket. All of it goes in that other stuff bucket because that’s the stuff that you cannot control and when you can’t control it you’ve got to trust somebody else to do it for you. If you’re filling each of the first buckets first and again, getting to the fifth bucket, you may underestimate a decade and overestimate a year, normally, but this time you won’t. You will look at that decade and when you start you might be a regular guy with a job. When you end that decade you might be worth a million, 10 million or 100 million depending on the level of entrepreneurship you’re taking. And then if you’re looking for me on social media or anything like that, go Preston Brown, I’m on everything. Please follow, comment, I answer questions and anything that anybody asks.

Guillaume: Amazing. I have one question for you before we close this. So you’re pretty clear on the five; your mindset, your business, real estate, very clear, tax hedges, and then all the other stuff. I’d still like a few more examples on tax hedges, maybe on the American side that you know to amortize faster. Are there any other techniques that you have in mind?

Preston: There’s so many. Oil and gas have a lot of tax benefits in America. If you can find somebody trustworthy to do it with then there’s a lot of tax and that will have to come back, we’re not ready for green energy. But they have passed a lot of bills where they’re trying to get us to invest more in green energy. So there’s a ton of tax credits around green energy, huge energy tax credits everywhere. Well, it goes from 100% bonus depreciation to 80% on January one, but multifamily over the next five years will taper off in January. It’s going to go from 100% to 80%. Meaning that you can do a cost segregation and bonus depreciation and really mitigate all of your income using multifamily or investing in syndications of multifamily. Obviously, there’s vehicles, airplanes, trucks, things like this, and it’s over a certain weight, like don’t go buy a Ferrari. But if you go buy a Ferrari we don’t do it for taxes. There’s probably some loopholes there too, you can talk to my accountant one day if you want to learn them but it’s way more complicated. So I use mainly real estate, secondarily apartment syndications. Third, I use airplanes and that has been able to mitigate all of my income.

I have a friend who is very political and he’s involved. I don’t want to say his name for privacy. But he says that on the floor of Congress they’re discussing an incentive for building multifamily in the United States. They haven’t come up with it yet, they haven’t done it but they know there’s a housing shortage, they know that this recession is going to deepen that housing shortage, they know that if they open the southern border it’s going to deepen that housing shortage. And that’s compounding it faster than anything, because whether you agree or disagree with it, there’s still people that want houses that are coming across those borders. They don’t want to live without a roof over their heads, they want a better life that’s why they’re coming. So the housing shortage is deepening so much that now the government is going to have to do something to incentivize new construction, new development, whether it be rental or sale. So there’s going to be tax hedges coming there. And then just pay attention to the policies that your politicians are putting out. If you’re looking at what’s next, what’s coming, you’re going to be successful, wild and free. It’s going to be phenomenal.

Guillaume: Awesome, so all kinds of tax credits where the government wants the people to invest and just go with this and surf the wave. If you can get maybe 30% of whatever the government decides to subsidize there. Yeah, that’s quite a discount on building the asset and then running a profitable company, perhaps if it’s in green investments. Pretty awesome. This is a great recording. Thank you, Preston, for being here today.

Preston: My pleasure. Thanks for having me, brother.

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